Australia

Jarryd Hayne jailed for five years and nine months for sexually assaulting a woman in her home

Content warning: This story contains references to sexual assault.

Disgraced former NRL star Jarryd Hayne has been jailed for at least three years and eight months for attacking a young woman in her bedroom on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.

District Court Judge Helen Syme in Newcastle on Thursday said Hayne had to be jailed because non-consensual sexual intercourse was an extreme form of violence which the community expected courts to take very seriously.

The judge noted Hayne only stopped attacking the victim when she started to bleed, not when she was telling him no and stop.

“She (the victim) has every right to feel safe from attack in the privacy of her home,” the judge said.

“The fact is she said no to the sexual activity the offender was forcing on her.

“The offender was fully aware the victim was not consenting.

“I do not accept the offender did not know or did not hear the victim telling him she did not want to have sex with him.”

The judge said Hayne’s decision to ignore the woman’s pleas to stop when forcibly giving her oral and digital sexual intercourse only increased the objective seriousness of the crime.

Hayne’s use of force was such that the victim had no chance to stop him given he had been a professional athlete.

Judge Syme said the victim’s honesty had been tested at length during Hayne’s trial but the jury and the judge believed her, not Hayne.

The loss of Hayne’s career was a moral and natural consequence of his actions.

Judge Syme said it was hard to see Hayne’s prospects of rehabilitation being regarded as high since he continues to maintain his innocence.

Hayne was jailed for a total of five years and nine months.

‘This assault has changed me’

The woman, 28, in an emotional victim impact statement read earlier to the court, said she was plagued by constant flashbacks of seeing Hayne’s face during the sexual assault.

She said Hayne had destroyed her life and she would never be the same again.

The woman told the court Hayne had made her feel dirty, violated, treated her like an object and had been seeing right through her.

“You don’t owe somebody your body, nor should they expect it,” the woman said.

“My body remembers and my mind won’t let me forget.

“This assault has changed me. It changed my direction and who I was.

“I don’t remember the last time I had a proper sleep.”

The woman had endured “countless hours of crying” and visited various psychologists to try to push the memory of what happened to her to the back of her mind.

She and her mother had been forced to move out of their home because she could never be in that bedroom again.

The woman no longer trusted anyone, pushed everyone away and “freaks out if I get close to anyone”.

She told the court she made the mistake of looking at social media and wanted to scream at people discussing the case and “set them straight”.

“What I experienced was horrible. Nobody should have to feel that way. I’m destroyed and damaged but I’m still standing.”

She was proud of facing Hayne in court during his trial and telling her story.

Hayne, 33, was found guilty in March of two counts of sexual assault by a jury of seven men and five women during a retrial in Sydney.

He was found not guilty of the two more serious charges of aggravated sexual assault without consent inflicting actual bodily harm.

The first jury in Newcastle was discharged in December after being deadlocked and failing to reach a verdict.

The crown case against Hayne was he arrived drunk at the woman’s house on the outskirts of Newcastle about 9pm on September 30, 2018 and stayed for about 45 minutes, committed two sex acts on her without her consent involving digital penetration and oral sex before causing two separate injuries to her genitalia before leaving.

Jarryd Hayne arrives at Newcastle District Court on Thursday, 6 May, 2021.

AAP

The woman told the jury Hayne tried to kiss and touch her but when she said “no” and “stop” he pushed her head into the pillow, ripped off her trousers and attacked her.

Hayne claimed he knew the woman did not want to have sex with him after she realised he had a taxi waiting outside but she agreed to him performing oral sex on her to please her.

He said the woman’s injuries must have been caused when he accidentally cut her with his finger.

Hayne had paid a taxi driver $550 to take him home to Sydney after a two-day bucks party for rugby league player Kevin Naiqama in Newcastle when he decided to pop in to the woman’s nearby home.

He had never met her but believed she had promised him sex after they had been exchanging flirty messages on Instagram and Snapchat.

The victim admitted she had been open to having sex with Hayne but was hoping for a future with the former Parramatta Eels star, not a fling.

If you or someone you know is impacted by family and domestic violence or sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

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